Questionable Assurance

A family member had surgery yesterday.  As expected, he was sent home with pain medication.  The medication came with normal warnings about not using it with alcohol, don’t drive, etc.  What I read next on the instructions made me do a double take.  I read it again just to be sure I had not misread this.  Here is the instruction sheet he was given. Be sure to read the line in the middle of the “pain medication” section.  You will see that it says, “You will not get “hooked” to your pain medication.

The pain medication prescribed was hydrocodone.  Here is the information about this drug.

National Library of Medicine-Hydrocodone may be habit-forming. Take hydrocodone exactly as directed. Do not take a larger dose, take it more often, or take it for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor. Call your doctor if you develop a strong desire to take more medication than prescribed.

Hydrocodone Help-Hydrocodone is an opiate drug that is commonly prescribed to treat pain. It is a sedative that produces feelings of calm and euphoria and has the potential to cause dangerous addiction. It is important for someone who has developed an addiction to hydrocodone to undergo professional rehab treatment. However, there are some myths about that treatment that can prevent that person from getting the help he or she needs.

Medicine.Net-  GENERIC NAME: hydrocodone/acetaminophen.  BRAND NAMES: Vicodin, Vicodin ES, Anexsia, Lorcet, Lorcet Plus, Norco.  DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Hydrocodone is a narcotic pain-reliever and a cough suppressant, similar to codeine. Hydrocodone may be habit forming. Mental and physical dependence can occur.

I could list more references but you get the idea. Did I mention that the prescription was a hefty ten day supply for a minor surgery?  This medication was given at a VA hospital where many of the patients already have issues with addictions.  Yes, if you use the medication exactly as prescribed and for only a short time when the pain needs to be managed you probably won’t have  problem.

I am confused and concerned by this.  I understand the need for pain medication, especially after surgery.  I do not understand the need for that much medication and a”non warning” label telling patients they will not get hooked.  I am not sure who to write to express my concerns, but I will be researching and sending a letter to someone.

Have you seen anything like this?  What are your thoughts?

3 responses

  1. Firstly the pain medication obviously can cause dependency – all opiates do that. But to actually write on the instruction sheet “You will not get hooked” is an understatement. I have never seen that in my life before. I seriously think you should follow it up. Well done for checking into it xxx


  2. Next thing you know beer will have the disclaimer “You will not become an alcoholic” Good luck with your research, Cathy.


  3. I think that the paradox is that people who *fear* addiction will decline medication that can help them heal. When you hurt, you don’t move around. When you don’t move around you get blood clots, pneunomia, etc. Sometimes, I think people want to hurt….that is a whole different concept.
    “hooked” is slang, it is not a medical term and should not be used at all. Physical dependence is another thing, so why not address that?
    I like the fact that you are questioning these things, looking for contradictions. Oxy’s and other pain meds are the drug addiction of our times. People believe it is not an ‘addiction’ because the doctor prescribed it. It sounds like this doctor is becoming the drug pusher. ‘You won’t get ‘hooked’, just try it.’ Very, very scary.


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